If you’re like me, I learn most when I get hands-on experience with something. That’s why in many of the technical writings I create, I ‘play around‘ with the product I’m writing about first. I just… use it. Explore it. Figure it out. Go through the admin and user interfaces.

And for many software things, this is no problem. I can run software as a virtual machine, container or on top of an operating system. As my interest is still very much in the infrastructure space, I resort to nested virtualization for things that (officially) need to run bare-metal. Nutanix Community Edition is one of those examples.

The pain of labbing: starting from scratch

Setting up the environment before I can even start is a major time-suck, and takes up valuable time I could’ve spent writing or doing other work. That’s why I’m happy that things like Nutanix Test Drive exist.

Nutanix Test Drive

And it’s the ease of getting started with the more advanced workloads that save me time. Nutanix recently launched a Disaster Recovery as a Service module to their Test Drive experience, allowing me to dive into their BCDR features without spending hours to configure all the dependencies and infrastructure needed, like an on-prem cluster with storage, networking, VMs to protect, protection plans, recovery plans, etcetera. Instead, the lab is instantly ready to go, with a manual to guide me through the first experience.

The lab specifically explores Xi Leap, Nutanix’ cloud DR solution, walking through a Protection Policy, building a Recovery Plan, evaluating networking considerations, and perform an actual failover from the on-prem Nutanix cluster to Xi Leap.

Sounds interesting? Within a couple of minutes you can have this lab running too. I completed it within 20 minutes, can you beat me?